Simp and Kenny butt heads as LA Thieves abuse ‘banned’ item in $30k CDL kickoff tournament

simp and kenny on Bocage with Call of Duty League logoCall of Duty League/Activision

The $30k Call of Duty League Kickoff Classic was fans’ and players’ first chance to see competitive CoD: Vanguard. It ended in drama, though, as Atlanta FaZe’s Chris ‘Simp’ Lehr hounded LA Thieves’ Zack ‘Drazah’ Jordan for ignoring Gentleman’s Agreements.

Gentleman’s Agreements have come to be commonplace in Call of Duty esports. While there is a set of restricted weapons and items, such as shotguns or certain AI-controller killstreaks, there are some that vary by title each season based on what the pros want to ban.

In Vanguard, there have been countless debates over the use of smoke grenades and sniper rifles in the competitive landscape. While it initially seemed as though snipers were out, in order to keep smoke grenades in, both of them were in play at the CDL Kickoff Classic.

Some players were unhappy to see how the smoke grenades were being used, though — players can sit in the smoke and see through it to pick off opponents while remaining invisible within the smoke.

How to watch CDL Kickoff Classic: stream, schedule, teamsCall of Duty League
The CDL 2022 Kickoff Classic event was not short of drama.

Simp let LA Thieves and Drazah, who he accused of abusing the mechanic at the $30k Kickoff Classic, know exactly how he felt when they were knocked out of the tournament.

“Well deserved loss for doing this in a match,” he said, in response to a clip of Drazah using smoke grenades to gain a ‘one-way’ vision of his enemies. “This is the exact reason why smokes shouldn’t be in competitive right now.”

Drazah’s teammate, Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Williams, leaped to his defense, saying that the ”same energy should be applied to snaking but we’re still not ready for that convo.” By this, he means the ‘snaking’ accusations that have followed FaZe’s Jovel ‘Cellium’ McArthur in recent years, with players bemoaning his use of unfair movement mechanics.

Simp replied in kind, saying “​​It’s also pretty weird how snaking got patched and still sh*t on you and draz and everyone else in the league last year.”

Kenny finished the conversation saying that “the fake villain thing doesn’t fit you,” clearly not able to reach a compromise with Simp.

There’s clearly space for a rivalry to grow between Atlanta FaZe and LA Thieves, two of the biggest franchises in the CDL, and there’s definitely no love lost between their two franchise players.

Whether we see changes in the pros list of banned GAs off the back of this remains to be seen, but as it stands, there’s a serious case to be made for smoke grenades to not be allowed going forward.